Category Archives: Mental and Emotional Health

Willpower and sugar

Do you suffer from decision Fatigue? John Tierney wrote this really looooong article on an interesting topic with a twist I had not see before. I summarize it below, for the full article click: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-fatigue.html?ref=johntierney

Basically willpower is limited, the use of it depletes it. Once it is depleted bad things start to happen. Once willpower is lower it is harder to make “trade-offs”, and view the nuances of the decision clearly.

So we head down the path of less resistance. The famous example is the candy at the checkout. You have made all these decisions on what to buy. You get to the end and feel burned out and need a little snack. Normally you would not eat that “crap” but like magic it hops into your checkout basket.

The interesting thing was have a shot of glucose and all is well again. I find that interesting but I do notice I eat all day at work. I don’t see how glucose can replace rest but they say the brain changes where it works once fatigue has set in, and the new spots are  not good for decisions.  A shot of sugar will do the trick short term but better food choices will make it a longer effect.

Another item in the article was the added pressure of poverty in the decision loop. When money is tight, so our the options. To find good options takes more “trade-offs” and that quickly depletes willpower, leading to poor choices.

What to do. Space out activities that will use willpower, thinking and concentration. Make sure your well fed and watered. Keep and eye on your fatigue levels and reflect on how the recent decisions are. If you notice you are not making your normal decisions. STOP and get some rest, food, water, change of scenery.

Good luck and watch out for the candy bars in your shopping basket, it’s a sure sign you have depleted willpower and remember the person your talking to may be depleted also. Makes you think about giving your GP a sugar candy before they assess you.

Be Well,
Ward Willison
allbodycare.com
Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

 

Yearly Goals.

A game without a goal is just running around.

You can call it New Years Resolutions, Goal’s or anything you like. If you have nothing to aim at you certainly won’t hit much.

Start with, what would you like? I started with wanting to eat more vegetables. We spent a year figuring out how to eat 5-6 portions (1 cup) of vegetables a day. The next year we wanted to eat better meat. We spent a year sourcing farm sources of meat, which turned out to be hard because the farms stop producing for various reasons.

I wanted to get better at Tai Chi, so I spent, you guessed it, a year looking at Tai Chi video’s, taking workshops and just doing a lot of Tai Chi.

I wanted to be a better parent so I googled best parenting books and read a bunch. Many sucked, many did not. Overall we are improving, or at least our daughter says so.

I wanted to go to the moon, turns out it’s just not going to happen. I was very sad, upset and miserable and I got over it and found a different goal to work on.

With google and youtube you can really learn basically anything from anywhere. A trick with goals is to pick something in your level of achievement. If you are in grade one, do not have a goal of going into grade seven next year. You will likely fail. Even if you really, really try.

You can have a 6 year goal of getting into grade seven and the first step is to pass grade one, and get into grade two.

Many people’s goals do not work because they watch too much TV and think they are just going to lace up their shoes and go run a marathon in a couple of weeks, because some guy on YouTube did it. Maybe they did and maybe it’s a lie. Either way you will be better off picking some goal that is “SMART”, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time limit. You can google a million sites to help you set goals.

For me it’s easy. What do I want. Then I build a plan to get there. Some, like going to the moon, will never happen and others will. I have been doing goals for 30 years and it’s really made a huge difference in my life. I normally pick 5 a year and if they are all done before the year is over I think of some more.

Give it a try, what can you loose? I never worried about what I could loose. I focused on what I gained from it.

Be Well,
Ward Willison
allbodycare.com
Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

 

Surviving Christmas – or any other ‘festive time’

Well it’s here again that super happy, ever relaxing, healthy holiday time. Not really your experience of it? Well read on for some help.

Move far away to a tropical country for December. Not an option either?

Work changes in December, it’s 75% stress cases vs the regular 20%. I love a good stress case just like the next acupuncturist but it is so unnecessary.

Step one keep your regular sleep times. If there is one thing to have a happier, healthier life is get sleep and likely more of it.

If you, your children or anyone you meet is regularly miserable, get them more sleep and magic can happen. Everyone feels better and acts better with appropriate amounts of sleep. Start with 8 hours of on your back in a bed and go from there. Can’t sleep? Call me.

Eat whatever, just don’t over eat. It is likely too much to ask to eat healthy in December. But overeating can be avoided. Also don’t skip meals to have ‘more room’ for the big meal. It really messes with your blood sugar levels and that will affect your mood, likely not in a good way.

Don’t watch TV in November or December, that way you won’t know all the latest things you just must buy for you and everyone you know. Look around your house at all the awesome things you just had to have and do you use them? Buy something consumable (food) for gifts and at least it may get used. Or make jam, salsa, antipasto, sauce, spiced nuts etc. and give them that.

What to do about going to the in-laws for x-mass and all the fun that brings. Well the easy one is don’t go. “But everyone will be so upset”. Does that include you? if not maybe it’s time to start your own family tradition. Everyone loves family traditions, they have to start somewhere, why not now. Make up something your family unit can actually enjoy. Everyone will understand, really.

Mostly just be kind to yourself. Most stores do half! of their sales pre-xmass. There is a lot of marketing to make you feel like crap if you don’t go massively into debt and give all your money to a store in return for future junk.

Take a breath, life is short. If your going to buy something, buy memories not future junk. Go make some good memories this December and good luck.

Be Well,
Ward Willison
allbodycare.com
Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

Spend time with the one’s you love

This summer I took Mondays off and had Daddy Daughter Day. It was a big hit with my daughter. We went biking, hiking, swimming, Scandia, painted windows (that was not her favorite) and other fun stuff.

I look at it a number of ways. It’s tough on the work. It’s wonderful on the daughter. I am a big fan of a couple of books. One is “how to hold on to your kids” the other is “hold me tight”. One is for kids and one is for marriage but both really say the same thing.

Spend time and lots of it with people you want to be in a relationship with, if you want it to last.

For many many years, there was a theory of ‘separation’. Meaning everyone is just going to go out on their own and be a lone wolf. Your kids are going to grow up, separate, move out and forget your name. Your spouse is going to grow older, separate, move out and find someone else s name.

Then a few doctor’s started writing about “attachment theory”, which was ridiculed during the time “separation theory” ruled. Attachment theory is basically we become attached to people and are strongly influenced by them versus people we are not so attached to.

One of the ways to get people to attach to you is to do things with them. Build stories together, live adventures together, sit together, eat together, talk.

I read a quote years ago that I never believed until life proved it to me in a painful way. “The person you are, will be the same person you will be, when you reach the end.”

Many people think when they make a million, or get a degree, or go to Hawaii, ect. They will magically change into a super person and everyone will love them and call them and want to spend time with them.

That will be true if they where a decent person along the way, if not, good luck.

So taking a day off may make me work longer into my 70’s, I may loose patients to other clinics. I may keep my daughter loving me and calling me daddy. You can guess what’s happening next summer.

To all the lovely people that actually read these posts thank you and go spend some time with someone you want to.

Be Well,
Ward Willison
allbodycare.com
Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

Vacation, an opportunity to UNPLUG

Recently we went away for our summer sailing trip. We went up to Desolation Sound. I was amazed how many mega yacht’s there where compared to our last trip. These boats are worth millions. Last time there where a hundred boats worth over $100K each but this time it was big money. I think the yachting world has found us.

Amazingly enough many like to play loud music till late at night, loud enough so everyone can hear them but certainly not enjoy it. Many like to park in the ‘navigable’ water way, I guess so we can all motor around them and have a good look. On shore many where on their cell phones. I am not sure where they are getting service from as we are in the middle of nowhere but I guess a cell tower on the top of a big mountain can travel far.

I have talked to several clients about a theory on eye deterioration. Back in the not so distant past, there where no lights after sundown. Things like reading, TV, computers etc. where just not happening and the eyes got to rest. Many point to lights as causing massive eye strain and vision deterioration.

I think most things got more actual down time 50 years ago. I think for the past 200 thousand years it’s been like that and now we just go, go, go. Then many people just stop.

Heart attack, tumors, strokes, you name it. It just ‘came on suddenly. No real reason we can think of’. Hey folks, take some time and STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING! The great Buddhist quote, “don’t just do something, sit there”.

I have some great study’s on executives on holidays and how they go nuts, with no work to do. Their shrinks say take a few hours of work a day to take the edge off. Holly cow we’ve lost it. Do yourselves a favor, whether it’s on holidays or just during the week. Unplug and get your body some down time. You will be very glad you did.

Here’s some pics of the trip.

Be Well,
Ward Willison
allbodycare.com
Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

 

 

Hector and the Search for Happiness

I watched this movie on the weekend and it just spoke to me. I think it will speak to a lot of people. It got poor ratings, but I don’t think they listened to the script. There are some real gems in there.

It’s your basic story of a middle aged guy that snaps and goes around the world looking for the secret to being happy. Along the way he gets into all sorts of things. The one that really hit me was his old flame in LA.

How many of us have a memory of something that is bigger than life. It could be a person, a city we visited, childhood memory that we carry around. It seems so real, so important, we spend years wondering should we have, did we, could we do it again.

In the movie the old flames basically says to the guy, WAKE UP YOU IDIOT, that was a long time ago. It is gone, over, dead, finished. Pack your mental belongings and grow the heck up.

It is like we take a snapshot and it magically stays frozen in time. Our minds build a palace or a prison around it and it affects us, sometimes, for a very long time. When in reality it is gone.

The person, the situation, the judgements, the ???, they are gone, changed, moved, different. Let your mind be as well.

I guess it’s the same old simple message, live in today, unless you need to remember the combination to your gym locker spend very little time in the past. Unless you are building your shopping list for camping. Spend very little time in the future. Do you best to enjoy now and you will be happier.

https://www.facebook.com/hectormovieca?brand_redir=1

Enjoy the journey
Ward Willison
allbodycare.com
Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

Let it snow and let’s stay sane

If you celebrate the holidays your likely stressed out of your mind. If you don’t celebrate the holidays your likely just stressed.

I have found it endlessly interesting the conversations I have with clients in December. “My family is coming for Christmas and I want to run away and hid.” “I don’t know what to get for my brother.” “My credit cards are maxed, I hope the bonus is good this year.”

Folks it happens every year, get a plan and work on it a bit. If you don’t like company over the holidays, send everyone an email in March about it. (your stuck for this year however). Or this year make some changes to how you run the holiday, put in those boundaries and write them all an email tonight and re-read it a couple of times and then send it.

The commercial aspects of the holidays are overwhelming. My daughter wants an I-phone 5, she has NO idea what that is but all the other girls are getting one.(No, there is no chance she’s getting that as I am not sure what it is either) Do you have the nicest tree, the most lights, the newest dress?

Take a breath, take another. It really can be a lovely time of year. Spend your time with your family and friends, not necessarily your money. Give your love to your family and friends, not necessarily the rest of your money.

On another practical note. The change in most people’s diets and sleep schedules is really harmful. Get three meals a day. Don’t ‘wait’ till the big dinner to pig out. It really messes with you. A few extra drinks, a few pounds of extra sugar and let the shouting matches begin.

Talk about an “X-mass survival plan” with those on your team. See how it goes and work on it for Easter, summer vacations, fall festivals and next years Santa.

Don’t let marketers destroy a great opportunity. Life is short, take every chance you get to bond with people. Have great memory making experiences with them.

All the very best to you and yours
Ward Willison
allbodycare.com
Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

 

Build a bridge and get over it

“If it’s not a deal breaker build a bridge and get over it.” But how?

It can be very difficult to get over something. I have heard many things that I don’t think a person is ever going to get over. However we must attempt it and often we will be successful.

This is by no means all the ideas out there but a few.

1. Give yourself time and some space from it. It can take time to work through what happened, and it certainly can take some space. When we are away from things it can give us a softer perspective on the situation. I had a business partner for ten years who, I think screwed me over on a deal. It took three years and 10K miles apart to remember all the good times we had and I contacted the person and we have a different relationship now but it’s good.

2. Spend some time with supportive people. One of the biggest things you can do to make your life a better place it to have a couple of close friends. It is possible that one of those “friends” is the problem, that’s why you need a couple of them. Things do happen.

3. What is really important to you? Is this something that is a deal breaker or not. If so stand for what you believe and move on. If not grow up, put your big pants on and make up, build the bridge and get over it.

4. Write down what you have learned and put it on your wall of knowledge. Some people have pictures of their family on the wall. Others put reminders of how not to get in that situation again.

5. Get it off your chest. It can help to tell someone what you are feeling and thinking about the problem. Likely the other party is a good place to start. Do yourself a favor, sleep on it first. Going over there to give them a piece of your mind? Refer to #3 first.

6. Accept that you may never know the whole story or get all you want. You may think an apology will make it all go away, that’s unlikely. People and situations are driven by known motives, UN-known motives and randomness. Sometimes things just happen and it goes from there.

7. Be kind to yourself. I think this is the MOST important thing. I have told hundreds of people. Be compassionate to yourself, more than you think you should for much longer than you think you can. Life and situations can be very hard and unfair.
How does one be kind to themselves? If you saw a young child fall and hurt themselves and no other person was around what would you do? That would be a good start.

8. Forgive. I ask a lot of people what does forgiveness mean to you? The best I have heard is “To release the need for the past to be different.” It is what it is, now what? Build that bridge, life is short, get over it.

Be Well,
Ward Willison
allbodycare.com
Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

I got ideas for this post from http://singleparents.about.com/od/singleparentlife/tp/get-over-it-and-move-on.htm

 

Family can be like a LP record

You have not seen your brother for 4 years but it is like you started the argument from the last word that was said, all that time ago.

You are suffering from the LP record syndrome. Do you remember vinyl? They had a continuous groove that just kept going till the record was done. If you lifted the needle of the record player you could just put it down later and start from the exact spot you left off at.

It can be like that with family. You are just picking up from where you left off at.

There is a better way.

We just survived a three week invasion from three groups of relatives. I noticed something with my brother this trip.

I sat back took a breath and decided to have a look at my brother with ‘fresh eyes’ and to my amazement he looked older and made sense when he talked! Where was my little brother who I had to do things for?

It was amazing we talked like adults, we did adult things, we had a great time. Now I have always loved my brother but this trip was different for me.

I encourage you in your interactions with your family and others to make sure you are not just ‘dropping the needle’ on the old record. It will doom you to a unsuccessful encounter with that person.

Take a moment and really look at the person and hear what they are saying today, you might be amazed.

Be Well,
Ward Willison
allbodycare.com
Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies

 

Get your rocks in order

With out your health what do you have? Not much.

In my line of work I see it most weeks. Someone who pushed it too hard and their body fell apart.

For most of us, me included, work, commitments, hobbies, etc can just get away on us and downtime and rest vanish from our schedule.

I love the ‘Big Rock’ story, where you put the big rocks in first and they fit, that being the important things in our lives.

If you put the small stuff in first you will not have the space to get the big stuff in. I found this picture of it done each way and it really shows how this principle works.

Do yourself a favor, review your schedule on a regular basis and make sure your big rocks are in there. Especially down time and rest.

http://greenertrees.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/IMG_0042-1024x789.jpg

Be Well,
Ward Willison
allbodycare.com
Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies